Marfan syndrome is an autosomal dominant systemic disorder of the connective tissue. Children affected by the Marfan syndrome carry a mutation in one of their two copies of the gene that encodes the connective tissue protein fibrillin-1. Marfan syndrome affects most organs and tissues, especially the skeleton, lungs, eyes, heart, and the large blood vessel that distributes blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A case report of Marfan syndrome has been reported with oral features. The dental problems of the child were treated under general anesthesia and a one-month review showed intact stainless steel crowns' restorations and no signs of secondary caries.
To analyse the trends in the prevalence of different pathogroups of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) among hospitalized acute diarrheal patients.
From the active surveillance of diarrheal disease at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Kolkata, 3826 stool specimens collected during 2008–2011 were screened for DEC and other enteric pathogens. PCR was used in the detection of enterotoxigenic, enteropathogenic and enteroaggregative E. coli and 10 major colonization factor antigens (CFs) of enterotoxigenic E. coli. The relationship between DEC infected patient’s age group and clinical symptoms were also investigated. Multiplex PCR assay showed that the prevalence of EAEC was most common (5.7%) followed by ETEC (4.2%) and EPEC (1.8%). In diarrheal children >2 year of age, EAEC and EPEC were detected significantly (p = 0.000 and 0.007, respectively). In children >2 to 5 and >5 to 14 years, ETEC was significantly associated with diarrhea (p = 0.000 each). EAEC was significantly associated with diarrheal patients with age groups >14 to 30 and >30 to 50 years (p = 0.001, and p = 0.009, respectively). Clinical symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, were recorded in patients infected with ETEC. Dehydration status was severe among patients infected by ST-ETEC (19%) and EPEC (15%). CS6 was frequently detected (37%) among ETEC.
Hospital based surveillance reviled that specific pathogroups of DEC are important to certain age groups and among ETEC, CS6 was predominant.
Local epidemiology of Dengue is defined by the genetic diversity of the circulating Dengue virus (DENV) strains. This important information is not available for the virus strains from most parts of the Indian subcontinent. The present study focused on the genetic diversity of the serotype 3 DENV strains (DENV-3) from India.
A total of 22 DENV-3 strains identified by reverse-transcription PCR analysis of serum samples from 709 patients were studied. These samples were collected over a period of 4 years (2008–2011) from dengue fever suspected patients from Kerala, a dengue endemic state in South India. Comparison of a 1740bp nucleotide sequence of the viral Capsid-Pre-membrane-Envelope coding region of our strains and previously reported DENV-3 strains from India, South Asia and South America revealed non-synonymous substitutions that were genotype III-specific as well as sporadic. Evidence of positive selection was detected in the I81 amino acid residue of the envelope protein. Out of the 22 samples, three had I81A and 18 had I81V substitutions. In the phylogenetic analysis by maximum likelihood method the strains from Kerala clustered in two different lineages (lineage III and IV) within genotype III clade of DENV-3 strains. The ten strains that belonged to lineage IV had a signature amino acid substitution T219A in the envelope protein. Interestingly, all these strains were found to be closely related to a Singapore strain GU370053 isolated in 2007.
Our study identifies for the first time the presence of lineage IV strains in the Indian subcontinent. Results indicate the possibility of a recent exotic introduction and also a shift from the existing lineage III strains to lineage IV. Lineage shifts in DENV-3 strains have been attributed to dramatic increase in disease severity in many parts of the world. Hence the present observation could be significant in terms of the clinical severity of future dengue cases in the region.
Dengue virus; Serotype 3; Viral diversity; Evolution; Lineage turn-over
Smooth muscle contraction is a dynamic process driven by acto-myosin interactions that are controlled by multiple regulatory proteins. Our studies have shown that members of the AP-1 transcription factor family control discrete behaviors of smooth muscle cells (SMC) such as growth, migration and fibrosis. However, the role of AP-1 in regulation of smooth muscle contractility is incompletely understood. In this study we show that the AP-1 family member JunB regulates contractility in visceral SMC by altering actin polymerization and myosin light chain phosphorylation. JunB levels are robustly upregulated downstream of transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFβ1), a known inducer of SMC contractility. RNAi-mediated silencing of JunB in primary human bladder SMC (pBSMC) inhibited cell contractility under both basal and TGFβ1-stimulated conditions, as determined using gel contraction and traction force microscopy assays. JunB knockdown did not alter expression of the contractile proteins α-SMA, calponin or SM22α. However, JunB silencing decreased levels of Rho kinase (ROCK) and myosin light chain (MLC20). Moreover, JunB silencing attenuated phosphorylation of the MLC20 regulatory phosphatase subunit MYPT1 and the actin severing protein cofilin. Consistent with these changes, cells in which JunB was knocked down showed a reduction in the F:G actin ratio in response to TGFβ1. Together these findings demonstrate a novel function for JunB in regulating visceral smooth muscle cell contractility through effects on both myosin and the actin cytoskeleton.
A talon cusp is a dental anomaly commonly occurring in the permanent dentition compared to the primary dentition. It commonly affects the maxillary anterior teeth. In primary dentition, the most commonly affected tooth is the maxillary central incisors. This is a rare case report of a 5-year-old male patient with a talon cusp affecting the mandibular primary lateral incisor. Recognition and treatment of this anomaly at early stages is important to avoid complications.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. To date, improvements in hormonal and cytotoxic therapies have not yet led to a sustained remission or cure. In the present study, we investigated the in vitro and in vivo antitumor activities of a novel Calotropis procera protein (CP-P) isolated from root bark. CP-P protein inhibited the proliferation and induced apoptosis of breast cancer cells through the suppression of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kB) activation. CP-P, when administered individually or in combination with cyclophosphamide (CYC, 0.2 mg/kg) to rats with 7, 12-dimethyl benz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced breast cancer decreased tumor volume significantly without affecting the body weight. To elucidate the anticancer mechanism of CP-P, antioxidant activities such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione-s-transferase (GST) and non-enzymatic antioxidant - reduced glutathione (GSH), vitamin E and C generation in the breast were analyzed by various assays. SOD, CAT, GST, GSH, vitamin E and C levels were high in combination-treated groups (CP-P+CYC) versus the CYC alone-treated groups. Also, the combination was more effective in down-regulating the expression of NF-kB-regulated gene products (cyclin D1 and Bcl-2) in breast tumor tissues. Our findings indicate that CP-P possesses significant antitumor activity comparable to a commonly used anticancer drug, cyclophosphamide, and may form the basis of a novel therapy for breast cancer.
Vesiclepedia is a community-annotated compendium of molecular data on extracellular vesicles.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membraneous vesicles released by a variety of cells into their microenvironment. Recent studies have elucidated the role of EVs in intercellular communication, pathogenesis, drug, vaccine and gene-vector delivery, and as possible reservoirs of biomarkers. These findings have generated immense interest, along with an exponential increase in molecular data pertaining to EVs. Here, we describe Vesiclepedia, a manually curated compendium of molecular data (lipid, RNA, and protein) identified in different classes of EVs from more than 300 independent studies published over the past several years. Even though databases are indispensable resources for the scientific community, recent studies have shown that more than 50% of the databases are not regularly updated. In addition, more than 20% of the database links are inactive. To prevent such database and link decay, we have initiated a continuous community annotation project with the active involvement of EV researchers. The EV research community can set a gold standard in data sharing with Vesiclepedia, which could evolve as a primary resource for the field.
Seven isolates of bacteria (SRI-156, SRI-158, SRI-178, SRI-211, SRI-229, SRI-305 and SRI-360) were earlier reported by us as having potential for biocontrol of charcoal rot of sorghum and plant growth promotion (PGP) of the plant. In the present study, the seven isolates were characterized for their physiological traits (tolerance to salinity, pH, temperature and resistance to antibiotics and fungicides) and further evaluated in the field for their PGP of rice. All the seven isolates were able to grow at pH values between 5 and 13, in NaCl concentrations of up to 8% (except SRI-156 and SRI-360), temperatures between 20 and 40°C and were resistant to ampicillin (>100 ppm; except SRI-158 and SRI-178) but sensitive (<10 ppm) to chloramphenicol, kanamycin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin (except SRI-156 and SRI-211) and tetracycline. They were tolerant to fungicides benlate and captan, except SRI-158 and SRI-178, bavistin and sensitive to thiram (except SRI-156 and SRI-211) at field application level. In the field, four of the seven isolates (SRI-158, SRI-211, SRI-229 and SRI-360) significantly enhanced the tiller numbers, stover and grain yields, total dry matter, root length, volume and dry weight over the un-inoculated control. In the rhizosphere soil at harvest, all the isolates significantly enhanced microbial biomass carbon (except SRI-156), microbial biomass nitrogen and dehydrogenase activity (up to 33%, 36% and 39%, respectively) and total N, available P and% organic carbon (up to 10%, 38% and 10%, respectively) compared to the control. This investigation further confirms that the SRI isolates have PGP properties.
Biocontrol; Plant growth promotion (PGP); Rice; Field evaluation; Rhizosphere bacteria
The objective of this work is to develop and implement a medical decision-making system for an automated diagnosis and classification of ultrasound carotid artery images. The proposed method categorizes the subjects into normal, cerebrovascular, and cardiovascular diseases. Two contours are extracted for each and every preprocessed ultrasound carotid artery image. Two types of contour extraction techniques and multilayer back propagation network (MBPN) system have been developed for classifying carotid artery categories. The results obtained show that MBPN system provides higher classification efficiency, with minimum training and testing time. The outputs of decision support system are validated with medical expert to measure the actual efficiency. MBPN system with contour extraction algorithms and preprocessing scheme helps in developing medical decision-making system for ultrasound carotid artery images. It can be used as secondary observer in clinical decision making.
US carotid artery image analysis; Contour extraction; Multilayer back propagation network; Neural network classifier; Carotid artery classification; Medical decision-making system; Digital image processing; Image segmentation; Decision support techniques; Neural networks; Carotid artery
Background and Purpose
Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with [F-18] fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) has been validated as a hypoxic tracer [1, 2]. Head and neck cancer exhibits hypoxia, inducing aggressive biologic traits that impart resistance to treatment. Delivery of modestly higher radiation doses to tumors with stable areas of chronic hypoxia can improve tumor control . Advanced radiation treatment planning (RTP) and delivery techniques such as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) can deliver higher doses to a small volume without increasing morbidity. We investigated the utility of co-registered FMISO-PET and CT images to develop clinically feasible RTPs with higher tumor control probabilities (TCP).
FMISO-PET images were used to determine hypoxic sub-volumes for boost planning. Example plans were generated for ten of the patients in the study who exhibited significant hypoxia. We created an IMRT plan for each patient with a simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) to the hypoxic sub-volumes. We also varied the boost for two patients.
A significant (mean 17%, median 15%) improvement in TCP is predicted when the modest additional boost dose to the hypoxic sub-volume is included.
Combined FMISO-PET imaging and IMRT planning permits delivery of higher doses to hypoxic regions, increasing the predicted TCP (mean 17%) without increasing expected complications.
Hypoxia; FDG-PET; IMRT; FMISO-PET
An aggressive and fatal case of osteosarcoma of the mandible in a 19-year-old female is reported. Six weeks after the clinical appearance of the swelling, the patient died. This paper is unique in that the age of occurrence and the biologic behavior of the tumor were not consistent with the reported literature. The case report is followed by a brief review of osteosarcoma of the jaw with a note on its clinical presentation, diverse radiologic appearance, varied histopathologic picture, and prognosis.
Recruitment of 53BP1 to chromatin flanking double strand breaks (DSBs) requires γH2AX/MDC1/RNF8-dependent ubiquitination of chromatin and interaction of 53BP1 with histone H4 methylated on lysine 20 (H4K20me). Several histone methyltransferases have been implicated in 53BP1 recruitment, but their quantitative contributions to the 53BP1 response are unclear. We have developed a multi-photon laser (MPL) system to target DSBs to subfemtoliter nuclear volumes and used this to mathematically model DSB response kinetics of MDC1 and of 53BP1. In contrast to MDC1, which revealed first order kinetics, the 53BP1 MPL-DSB response is best fitted by a Gompertz growth function. The 53BP1 MPL response shows the expected dependency on MDC1 and RNF8. We determined the impact of altered H4K20 methylation on 53BP1 MPL response kinetics in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking key H4K20 histone methyltransferases. This revealed no major requirement for the known H4K20 dimethylases Suv4-20h1 and Suv4-20h2 in 53BP1 recruitment or DSB repair function, but a key role for the H4K20 monomethylase, PR-SET7. The histone methyltransferase MMSET/WHSC1 has recently been implicated in 53BP1 DSB recruitment. We found that WHSC1 homozygous mutant MEFs reveal an alteration in balance of H4K20 methylation patterns; however, 53BP1 DSB responses in these cells appear normal.
Laryngeal papillomas are benign tumors that frequently recur and can compromise airways. We investigated HPV genotype, physical status, and protein expression in juveniles versus adults. Thirty-five laryngeal papilloma specimens were obtained from ten juveniles (1–16 years) and eleven adults (24–67 years). In cases of recurrent papillomatosis (7 juveniles, 7 adults), the first and last papillomas were assayed. HPV type was determined by GP5+/6+ PCR and dot blot hybridization. In situ hybridization (ISH) was performed on 34 specimens; the data were recorded in terms of diffuse (episomal HPV) and punctate (integrated HPV) signal patterns. Immunohistochemistry for the HPV L1 capsid protein, a marker of HPV productive status, was performed on 32 samples. All samples tested HPV positive: HPV 11 in 2/10 (20.0%) juveniles and 5/11 (45.5%) adults; HPV 6 in 7/10 (70%) juveniles and 5/11 (45.5%) adults; and HPV 6/11 double infection was noted in one juvenile and one adult. ISH signals (punctate ± diffuse) were detected among 7/10 (70.0%) juveniles and 7/11 (63.6%) adults. L1 staining was detected in 1/9 (11.1%) juveniles and 6/10 (60.0%) adults (P = 0.06). These data support the idea that integration of low-risk HPV types into the cell genome is an early and common event in the etiology of juvenile and adult recurrent laryngeal papillomas. Productive HPV infections may be more common in adults; accordingly, constant laryngeal re-infection by HPV shed from a productive lesion may contribute to adult recurrent lesions, whereas the mechanism of papilloma recurrence in juveniles may be more attributable to HPV integration.
Recurrent respiratory papilloma; Laryngeal papilloma; Human papillomavirus; HPV; Larynx
Upon the completion of whole genome sequencing, thorough genome annotation that associates genome sequences with biological meanings is essential. Genome annotation depends on the availability of transcript information as well as orthology information. In teleost fish, genome annotation is seriously hindered by genome duplication. Because of gene duplications, one cannot establish orthologies simply by homology comparisons. Rather intense phylogenetic analysis or structural analysis of orthologies is required for the identification of genes. To conduct phylogenetic analysis and orthology analysis, full-length transcripts are essential. Generation of large numbers of full-length transcripts using traditional transcript sequencing is very difficult and extremely costly.
In this work, we took advantage of a doubled haploid catfish, which has two sets of identical chromosomes and in theory there should be no allelic variations. As such, transcript sequences generated from next-generation sequencing can be favorably assembled into full-length transcripts. Deep sequencing of the doubled haploid channel catfish transcriptome was performed using Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform, yielding over 300 million high-quality trimmed reads totaling 27 Gbp. Assembly of these reads generated 370,798 non-redundant transcript-derived contigs. Functional annotation of the assembly allowed identification of 25,144 unique protein-encoding genes. A total of 2,659 unique genes were identified as putative duplicated genes in the catfish genome because the assembly of the corresponding transcripts harbored PSVs or MSVs (in the form of pseudo-SNPs in the assembly). Of the 25,144 contigs with unique protein hits, around 20,000 contigs matched 50% length of reference proteins, and over 14,000 transcripts were identified as full-length with complete open reading frames. The characterization of consensus sequences surrounding start codon and the stop codon confirmed the correct assembly of the full-length transcripts.
The large set of transcripts assembled in this study is the most comprehensive set of genome resources ever developed from catfish, which will provide the much needed resources for functional genome research in catfish, serving as a reference transcriptome for genome annotation, analysis of gene duplication, gene family structures, and digital gene expression analysis. The putative set of duplicated genes provide a starting point for genome scale analysis of gene duplication in the catfish genome, and should be a valuable resource for comparative genome analysis, genome evolution, and genome function studies.
We identified 131 strains of Vibrio fluvialis among 400 nonagglutinating Vibrio spp. isolated from patients with diarrhea in Kolkata, India. For 43 patients, V. fluvialis was the sole pathogen identified. Most strains harbored genes encoding hemolysin and metalloprotease; this finding may contribute to understanding of the pathogenicity of V. fluvialis.
Diarrhea; V. fluvialis; Vibrio fluvialis; Vibrio; antimicrobial resistance; PFGE; pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; enteric infections; bacteria; India
The purpose of this phase Ib clinical trial was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of PR-104 a bioreductive pre-prodrug given in combination with gemcitabine or docetaxel in patients with advanced solid tumours.
PR-104 was administered as a one-hour intravenous infusion combined with docetaxel 60 to 75 mg/m2 on day one given with or without granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) on day two or administrated with gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 on days one and eight, of a 21-day treatment cycle. Patients were assigned to one of ten PR-104 dose-levels ranging from 140 to 1100 mg/m2 and to one of four combination groups. Pharmacokinetic studies were scheduled for cycle one day one and 18F fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) positron emission tomography hypoxia imaging at baseline and after two treatment cycles.
Forty two patients (23 females and 19 males) were enrolled with ages ranging from 27 to 85 years and a wide range of advanced solid tumours. The MTD of PR-104 was 140 mg/m2 when combined with gemcitabine, 200 mg/m2 when combined with docetaxel 60 mg/m2, 770 mg/m2 when combined with docetaxel 60 mg/m2 plus G-CSF and ≥770 mg/m2 when combined with docetaxel 75 mg/m2 plus G-CSF. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) across all four combination settings included thrombocytopenia, neutropenic fever and fatigue. Other common grade three or four toxicities included neutropenia, anaemia and leukopenia. Four patients had partial tumour response. Eleven of 17 patients undergoing FMISO scans showed tumour hypoxia at baseline. Plasma pharmacokinetics of PR-104, its metabolites (alcohol PR-104A, glucuronide PR-104G, hydroxylamine PR-104H, amine PR-104M and semi-mustard PR-104S1), docetaxel and gemcitabine were similar to that of their single agents.
Combination of PR-104 with docetaxel or gemcitabine caused dose-limiting and severe myelotoxicity, but prophylactic G-CSF allowed PR-104 dose escalation with docetaxel. Dose-limiting thrombocytopenia prohibited further evaluation of the PR104-gemcitabine combination. A recommended dose was identified for phase II trials of PR-104 of 770 mg/m2 combined with docetaxel 60 to 75 mg/m2 both given on day one of a 21-day treatment cycle supported by prophylactic G-CSF (NCT00459836).
The common species and subgenotypes causing cryptosporidiosis were studied in 394 children and 627 animals with diarrhea in Vellore in southern India. Although no zoonotic strains were identified in 13 infected children, 1 of 12 infected animals had C. hominis, indicating the potential for cross-species transmission. This study also reports C. xiaoi for the first time in India.
A recombinant vaccine (rF1V) is being developed for protection against pneumonic plague. This study was performed to address essential data elements to establish a well-characterized Swiss Webster mouse model for licensing the rF1V vaccine using the FDA's Animal Rule. These elements include the documentation of challenge material characteristics, aerosol exposure parameters, details of the onset and severity of clinical signs, pathophysiological response to disease, and relevance to human disease. Prior to animal exposures, an evaluation of the aerosol system was performed to determine and understand the variability of the aerosol exposure system. Standardized procedures for the preparation of Yersinia pestis challenge material also were developed. The 50% lethal dose (LD50) was estimated to be 1,966 CFU using Probit analysis. Following the LD50 determination, pathology was evaluated by exposing mice to a target LD99 (42,890 CFU). Mice were euthanized at 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 h postexposure. At each time point, samples were collected for clinical pathology, detection of bacteria in blood and tissues, and pathology evaluations. A general increase in incidence and severity of microscopic findings was observed in the lung, lymph nodes, spleen, and liver from 36 to 72 h postchallenge. Similarly, the incidence and severity of pneumonia increased throughout the study; however, some mice died in the absence of pneumonia, suggesting that disease progression does not require the development of pneumonia. Disease pathology in the Swiss Webster mouse is similar to that observed in humans, demonstrating the utility of this pneumonic plague model that can be used by researchers investigating plague countermeasures.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) expressing the colonization factor CS6 is widespread in many developing countries, including India. The different allelic variants of CS6, caused by point mutations in its structural genes, cssA and cssB, are designated AIBI, AIIBII, AIIIBI, AIBII, and AIIIBII. A simple, reliable, and specific mismatch amplification mutation assay based on real-time quantitative PCR (MAMA-qPCR) was developed for the first time for the detection of CS6-expressing ETEC, along with the identification of allelic variations. The assay was based on mismatched nucleotide incorporation at the penultimate base at the 3′ ends of the reverse primers specific for cssA and cssB and was validated using 38 CS6-expressing ETEC isolates. This strategy was effective in detecting all the alleles containing single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Using MAMA-qPCR, we also tested CS6 allelic variants in 145 ETEC isolates from children with acute diarrhea and asymptomatic infections, with the latter serving as controls. We observed that the AIBI and AIIIBI allelic variants were mostly associated with cases rather than controls, whereas the AIIBII variants were detected mostly in controls. In addition, the AIBI and AIIIBI alleles were frequently associated with ETEC harboring the heat-stable toxin gene (est) alone or with the heat-labile toxin gene (elt), whereas the AIIBII allele was predominant in ETEC isolates harboring the elt gene. This study may help in understanding the association of allelic variants in CS6-expressing ETEC with the clinical features of diarrhea, as well as in ETEC vaccine studies.
In plants, RNA silencing-based antiviral defense is mediated by Dicer-like (DCL) proteins producing short interfering (si)RNAs. In Arabidopsis infected with the bipartite circular DNA geminivirus Cabbage leaf curl virus (CaLCuV), four distinct DCLs produce 21, 22 and 24 nt viral siRNAs. Using deep sequencing and blot hybridization, we found that viral siRNAs of each size-class densely cover the entire viral genome sequences in both polarities, but highly abundant siRNAs correspond primarily to the leftward and rightward transcription units. Double-stranded RNA precursors of viral siRNAs can potentially be generated by host RDR-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR). However, genetic evidence revealed that CaLCuV siRNA biogenesis does not require RDR1, RDR2, or RDR6. By contrast, CaLCuV derivatives engineered to target 30 nt sequences of a GFP transgene by primary viral siRNAs trigger RDR6-dependent production of secondary siRNAs. Viral siRNAs targeting upstream of the GFP stop codon induce secondary siRNAs almost exclusively from sequences downstream of the target site. Conversely, viral siRNAs targeting the GFP 3′-untranslated region (UTR) induce secondary siRNAs mostly upstream of the target site. RDR6-dependent siRNA production is not necessary for robust GFP silencing, except when viral siRNAs targeted GFP 5′-UTR. Furthermore, viral siRNAs targeting the transgene enhancer region cause GFP silencing without secondary siRNA production. We conclude that the majority of viral siRNAs accumulating during geminiviral infection are RDR1/2/6-independent primary siRNAs. Double-stranded RNA precursors of these siRNAs are likely generated by bidirectional readthrough transcription of circular viral DNA by RNA polymerase II. Unlike transgenic mRNA, geminiviral mRNAs appear to be poor templates for RDR-dependent production of secondary siRNAs.
RNA silencing directed by small RNAs (sRNAs) regulates gene expression and mediates defense against invasive nucleic acids such as transposons, transgenes and viruses. In plants and some animals, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR) generates precursors of secondary sRNAs that reinforce silencing. Most plant mRNAs silenced by miRNAs or primary siRNAs do not spawn secondary siRNAs, suggesting that they may have evolved to be poor templates for RDR. By contrast, silenced transgenes often produce RDR-dependent secondary siRNAs. Here we demonstrate that massive production of 21, 22 and 24 nt viral siRNAs in DNA geminivirus-infected Arabidopsis does not require the functional RDRs RDR1, RDR2, or RDR6. Deep sequencing analysis indicates that dsRNA precursors of these primary viral siRNAs are likely generated by RNA polymerase II-mediated bidirectional readthrough transcription on the circular viral DNA. Primary viral siRNAs engineered to target a GFP transgene trigger robust, RDR6-dependent production of secondary siRNAs, indicating that geminivirus infection does not suppress RDR6 activity. We conclude that geminiviral mRNAs, which can potentially be cleaved by primary viral siRNAs, are resistant to RDR-dependent amplification of secondary siRNAs. We speculate that, like most plant mRNAs, geminiviral mRNAs may have evolved to evade RDR activity.
Thalidomide, a sedative drug given to pregnant women, unfortunately caused limb deformities in thousands of babies. Recently the drug was revived because of its therapeutic potential; however the search is still ongoing for an antidote against thalidomide induced limb deformities. In the current study we found that nitric oxide (NO) rescues thalidomide affected chick (Gallus gallus) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos. This study confirms that NO reduced the number of thalidomide mediated limb deformities by 94% and 80% in chick and zebrafish embryos respectively. NO prevents limb deformities by promoting angiogenesis, reducing oxidative stress and inactivating caspase-3 dependent apoptosis. We conclude that NO secures angiogenesis in the thalidomide treated embryos to protect them from deformities.
Spontaneous copy number variant (CNV) mutations are an important factor in genomic structural variation, genomic disorders, and cancer. A major class of CNVs, termed nonrecurrent CNVs, is thought to arise by nonhomologous DNA repair mechanisms due to the presence of short microhomologies, blunt ends, or short insertions at junctions of normal and de novo pathogenic CNVs, features recapitulated in experimental systems in which CNVs are induced by exogenous replication stress. To test whether the canonical nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) pathway of double-strand break (DSB) repair is involved in the formation of this class of CNVs, chromosome integrity was monitored in NHEJ–deficient Xrcc4−/− mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells following treatment with low doses of aphidicolin, a DNA replicative polymerase inhibitor. Mouse ES cells exhibited replication stress-induced CNV formation in the same manner as human fibroblasts, including the existence of syntenic hotspot regions, such as in the Auts2 and Wwox loci. The frequency and location of spontaneous and aphidicolin-induced CNV formation were not altered by loss of Xrcc4, as would be expected if canonical NHEJ were the predominant pathway of CNV formation. Moreover, de novo CNV junctions displayed a typical pattern of microhomology and blunt end use that did not change in the absence of Xrcc4. A number of complex CNVs were detected in both wild-type and Xrcc4−/− cells, including an example of a catastrophic, chromothripsis event. These results establish that nonrecurrent CNVs can be, and frequently are, formed by mechanisms other than Xrcc4-dependent NHEJ.
Copy number variants (CNVs) are a major factor in genetic variation and are a common and important class of mutation in genomic disorders, yet there is limited understanding of how many CNVs arise and the risk factors involved. One DNA damage response pathway implicated in CNV formation is nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), which repairs broken DNA ends by Xrcc4-dependent direct ligation. We examined the effects of loss of Xrcc4 and NHEJ on CNV formation following replication stress in mouse cells. Cells lacking NHEJ displayed unaltered CNV frequencies, locations, and breakpoint structures compared to normal cells. These results establish that CNV mutations in a cell model system, and likely in vivo, arise by a mutagenic mechanism other than canonical NHEJ, a pattern similar to that reported for model translocation events. Potential roles of alternative end joining and template switching are discussed.
Changes in genes coding for ciliary proteins contribute to complex human syndromes called ciliopathies, such as Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS). We used the model organism Paramecium to focus on ciliary ion channels that affect the beat form and sensory function of motile cilia and evaluate the effects of perturbing BBS proteins on these channels.
We used immunoprecipitations and mass spectrometry to explore whether Paramecium proteins interact as in mammalian cells. We used RNA interference (RNAi) and swimming behavior assays to examine the effects of BBS depletion on ciliary ion channels that control ciliary beating. Combining RNA interference and epitope tagging, we examined the effects of BBS depletion of BBS 7, 8 and 9 on the location of three channels and a chemoreceptor in cilia.
We found 10 orthologs of 8 BBS genes in P. tetraurelia. BBS1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 co-immunoprecipitate. While RNAi reduction of BBS 7 and 9 gene products caused loss and shortening of cilia, RNAi for all BBS genes except BBS2 affected patterns of ciliary motility that are governed by ciliary ion channels. Swimming behavior assays pointed to loss of ciliary K+ channel function. Combining RNAi and epitope tagged ciliary proteins we demonstrated that a calcium activated K+ channel was no longer located in the cilia upon depletion of BBS 7, 8 or 9, consistent with the cells’ swimming behavior. The TRPP channel PKD2 was also lost from the cilia. In contrast, the ciliary voltage gated calcium channel was unaffected by BBS depletion, consistent with behavioral assays. The ciliary location of a chemoreceptor for folate was similarly unperturbed by the depletion of BBS 7, 8 or 9.
The co-immunoprecipitation of BBS 1,2,4,5,7,8, and 9 suggests a complex of BBS proteins. RNAi for BBS 7, 8 or 9 gene products causes the selective loss of K+ and PKD2 channels from the cilia while the critical voltage gated calcium channel and a peripheral receptor protein remain undisturbed. These channels govern ciliary beating and sensory function. Importantly, in P. tetraurelia we can combine studies of ciliopathy protein function with behavior and location and control of ciliary channels.